Kostas Kiriakakis is an illustrator. In an illustrated cartoon muse, he explores the collection of Questions and Answers. Not your typical cartoon.
They ask: Who will You make peace with?
If you’re in the Vancouver, BC area, there is a free concert and the 2nd annual attempt at the world’s largest human peace sign. The Mayor has officially proclaimed it “Kindness Day.” (The local theme)
One of the performers, Ranj Singh, an Indo-folk-rock musician and fav of mine, did this related song.
Peace, Ranj Singh:
(That’s the seawall in Stanley Park)
Here’s my fav Ranj song, Fly Away, performed by the river. It’s with his former band, The Discriminators. The sound is not as good but its a great song. This version has a slow build:
Just remember – Peace begins within.
As you may know, our ears loose their sensitivity to the outer ends of the audible spectrum with age. This can be exacerbated by noise extremes and loud music, such as I enjoyed in my youth playing drums in an acid rock band. As the principle goes, if your ears are ringing afterwards, you’ve done some damage. The longer the ringing, the more hearing you’ve blown off.
Here’s a little test for your ears, best done with headphones. Although they didn’t help in my case.
When you browse the products in a store and are searching for a specific brand, where might you be expected to find a bearded baseball card, an autographed girls photo, and a multi-million dollar painting? Why Amazon, of course. Who knew Monet was so available? Amazon recently opened a new fine art section, featuring some rather pricey artworks being offered by various local galleries.
Someone with that kind of budget for art would be pretty unlikely to buy through a reseller. It’s not exactly discreet. And who carries plastic with $5 million on it? Do they even offer such a thing? (consider the insurance cost for a stray card)
The effort has attracted some cheeky “buyers” feedback (“I returned it – the Monet was used”) and price comparisons (Warhol vs bulk canned soup). I notice several of the highest-priced Monet’s are gone now. Some galleries may not consider such attention desirable. Not to mention some observations, like on a Norman Rockwell for close to $5 million: Is it art or “just an illustration”? But look – free shipping.
I wonder how many are adding to their Wish list. Missed birthday anyone?
I suppose if you enjoy throwing some extra cash around and advertising it on Amazon and Facebook, it’s an option. Bet your home insurance company may not appreciate it though. Better get that rider. And a better security system.
Hey – the Monet poster (Nympheas) is on sale for $2.76, regular $15. I can afford that! Over in Artwork though, not Fine Art.
PS – there are thousands of more modest paintings to choose from under Fine Art. And if this helps some of the smaller galleries survive, great. (this is reseller, not Amazon stock)
Ever heard of Elon Musk? TED branded him a serial entrepreneur, but that’s an understatement. He is a practical visionary:
1 – the co-founder of Paypal
2 – the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors. Their new all-electric model S has just been named by Consumer Reports as the highest rated car ever! It’s still a luxury car but it’s phase 2. Phase 3 is a mass production model. And the company has posted it’s first profit. That will keep it going.
3 – he’s involved with solar power company SolarCity
4 – and he’s the chief designer at SpaceX, a reusable rocket company. They’re already doing work for NASA and the space shuttle.
His TED talk from February this year:
CBC’s The National does a special on the current economy and how it’s being managed. It’s not what you may think. Low interest rates and a massive increase in the money supply have notable issues. Is it working? It is creating a massive increase in personal debt while hammering savers in multiple ways. Interest rates have to go up some time, which will also hammer those in debt. One adviser indicates everything is in a bubble now due to the artificial manipulation. What the piece fails to note is the profound inflationary pressure there is with a massively increased money supply. That devalues current incomes and investments and increases prices. One interviewee jokes about money under the mattress but its valuation still depends on the money supply.
Recently, I was sent links to a couple of short on-line general science and religion knowledge quizzes by Pew Research. What is particularly interesting is the detailed stats from the original study showing how well people did on specific questions, overall and so forth. You’ll see that with your results.
The Science Quiz (13 questions)
The World’s Religions Quiz (15 questions)
This article at Slate talks about it. For example, that 42% don’t know the most basic fact about global warming….
If you’ve ever looked at Kiva (microloans) but were uncertain about investing, here is a chance to try it out for free. You can make a free $25 loan contribution and see the process in action.
Bob is the author of a book about Kiva. During a journalists tour of outrageously expensive hotels around the world, he saw the poverty of the people nearby, some of whom helped build the palaces. He took his pay and invested it in Kiva. Then he went on another world tour to see the loans in action. The resulting book, The International Bank of Bob, is a funny and moving story of the ensuing adventure. And a profound look at real life in some of the more challenging spots on earth.
In its day, the Weather Channel was a big change. A TV channel devoted just to weather, before we had many dedicated stations. Then weather sites began to show up on the web, including the Weather Channel’s own. They give live, anywhere weather.
A few years ago, I began using the AniWeather browser plug-in. It displays a very customizable temperature and weather readout with optional links to various graphical maps. Click the temperature and you get a pop-up with a 5 day forecast + links to other cities and towns you choose. It’s America-centric but was especially useful when I was in the US Midwest – it’s weather is far more variable and changeable than here in the Pacific Northwest.
Today I was checking out a new site, Forecast.io.* It shows local current conditions with an animated map of global, regional or local conditions. The animation runs a time-scale as well. Below this is a weekly forecast with relative temperatures. I quite like this feature as you can tell at a glance where the temperature range is going.
Click Add in the dark bar near the top to add your location to the menu list. I tried adding 2 small towns, 1 in Europe and 1 in the US and both were found in moments. Interestingly, the URL in the address bar shows the digital longitude and latitude, if you’re looking for that.
It also has a “Time Machine.” I tried a date from 1976 in a European town and it showed me the correct days weather. (I was there)
Who knew weather could be fun?
*.IO is a new country domain for Indian Ocean. But they’re available for anyone, rendering that relatively meaningless. But not cheap.
Smart phones are so much more than just phones. They are net connected, with thousands of applications available. We may balk at the cash price for some modern units. But the value? A recent application suggests most phones are capable of much more than we might think. Although it does go rather outside expected use and specs and undoubtedly voids the warranty.
NASA has launched 3 satellites run by smart phones. In fact, each made mostly from a smart phone. These “phonesats” are expected to be the cheapest satellites ever launched, using off-the-shelf products – in this case Nexus One phones running Android. Their mission – to see if smart phones can be used to successfully run a satellite in space. They’re also going to try to use the built-in cameras to take pictures of earth. And of course, they have built-in GPS. So far they’re operating normally.
They did have to add a larger battery pack and a powerful radio. The result is about 4″ square. And no – you can’t call or text them. A little out of your calling zone.
Combine this with low-cost rockets to launch and the satellite game changes completely.